Code of the District of Columbia

§ 44–501. Definitions.

(a) For the purposes of this subchapter the term:

(1) "Ambulatory surgery" means a surgical procedure performed in an ambulatory surgical facility requiring a period of post-operative observation of less than 24 hours and not requiring admission to a hospital following the procedure.

(1A) "Ambulatory surgical facility" means any facility, other than a hospital, dental office, or maternity center, but including an office-based facility, a physician outpatient surgery center, or a surgical facility connected to but physically separated from a hospital, at which ambulatory surgery is performed in either an operating room or procedure room.

(2) "Assisted living residence" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 44-102.01(4).

(3) "Community residence facility" means a facility that provides a sheltered living environment for individuals who desire or need such an environment because of their physical, mental, familial, social, or other circumstances, and who are not in the custody of the Department of Corrections. All residents of a community residence facility shall be 18 years of age or older, except that, in the case of group homes for persons with intellectual disabilities, no minimum age shall apply, unless this requirement is waived in accordance with [§ 44-505(e)].

(4) "Group home for persons with intellectual disabilities" means a community residence facility that provides a home-like environment for at least 4 but no more than 8 related or unrelated individuals who on account of intellectual disabilities require specialized living arrangements, and maintains the necessary staff, programs, support services, and equipment for their care and habilitation.

(5) "Health professional" means a person licensed, registered, certified, or permitted to practice a health occupation regulated by a licensing board in the District of Columbia.

(6) "Health professional's employer" means any entity, including a facility, agency, assisted living residence, private office, health care provider, or group home, in the District of Columbia, that employs health professionals or utilizes the services of a health professional who is contracted with a third party or is self-employed, including those engaged in the practice of pharmacy.

(7) "Home care agency" means an agency, organization, or distinct part thereof, other than a hospice, that directly provides skilled nursing services and at least one other therapeutic service to an individual, in his or her home or in a community residence facility, who is sick or who has a disability.

(8) "Hospice" means an agency, organization, facility, or distinct part thereof, primarily engaged in providing a program of in-home, outpatient, or inpatient medical, nursing, counseling, bereavement, and other palliative and supportive services to terminally ill individuals and their families.

(9) "Hospital" means a facility that provides 24-hour inpatient care, including diagnostic, therapeutic, and other health-related services, for a variety of physical or mental conditions, and may in addition provide outpatient services, particularly emergency care.

(10) "Maternity center" means a facility or other place, other than a hospital or the mother's home, that provides antepartal, intrapartal, and postpartal care for both mother and child during and after normal, uncomplicated pregnancy.

(11) "Nursing home" means a 24-hour inpatient facility, or distinct part thereof, primarily engaged in providing professional nursing services, health-related services, and other supportive services needed by the patient/resident.

(11A) "Operating room" means a sterile room in a surgical suite that is designated and equipped for performing surgical operations or other invasive procedures that require a high level of asepsis control.

(11B) "Procedure room" means a non-sterile room in which minor surgical procedures are performed.

(12) "Professional incompetence" means a health professional's unfitness to continue in the health professional's profession, or to provide one or more services ordinarily provided as part of the profession, as demonstrated by:

(A) A lack of knowledge, skill, or judgment; or

(B) Disregard for the welfare of a patient or client.

(13) "Renal dialysis facility" means any place, other than a hospital or the patient's home, that provides therapeutic care for persons with acute or chronic renal failure through the use of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or any other therapy that clears the blood of substances normally excreted by the kidneys.

(13A)(A) "Surgery" means the treatment or diagnosis of disease, injury, or other disorders by direct physical intervention involving:

[(i)] Any instruments causing localized alteration or transposition of live human tissue, including lasers, ultrasound, ionizing radiation, scalpels, probes, metal knives, light knives, and needles;

(ii) Injection of diagnostic or therapeutic substances into body cavities, internal organs, joints, sensory organs, and the central nervous system; or

(iii) The cutting, burning, vaporization, freezing, suturing, probing, or manipulation of tissue by closed reductions for major dislocations or fractures, or otherwise altering tissue by mechanical, thermal, light-based, electromagnetic, or chemical means.

(B) The term "surgery" does not include:

(i) The administration of subcutaneous, intramuscular or intravenous injections by an authorized health professional;

(ii) Topical treatments; or

(iii) Generally non-invasive procedures which do not require an aseptic surgical field.

(14) "Therapeutic service" includes physical, speech, or occupational therapy; medical social services; or personal care services.

(b) The Mayor shall have the authority to define variant types of facilities and agencies reasonably classified within the broader categories defined in subsection (a) of this section, and may issue rules under § 44-504 with respect to these subtypes. The Mayor shall make the final determination of whether a particular facility or agency falls within a category defined in subsection (a) of this section or a subtype defined by the Mayor pursuant to this subsection.

(c) When used throughout this subchapter, the terms “facility” and “agency” and their plural forms shall, unless contextually inappropriate or subject to specific exception, apply to all of the facilities and agencies defined in subsection (a) of this section as well as those subtypes defined by the Mayor. The Mayor shall make the final determination of whether a provision is contextually inappropriate for a particular agency or facility.